Who Will Fill Lautenberg's Senate Seat? - FOX13 News, WHBQ FOX 13

Who Will Fill Lautenberg's Senate Seat?

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PHILADELPHIA -

Gov. Chris Christie has the right to name a temporary replacement, a placeholder for Lautenberg, until a special election can be held.

The law is less clear on when that election must be held.

On the floor of the U.S. Senate, Lautenberg's desk sits empty, adorned only with a vase of flowers, as colleagues pay tribute.

Among the names floated as possible placeholders, Republican state lawmakers Joe Kyrillos and Tom Kean, Jr.; and even a Democrat, Newark Mayor Cory Booker.

Booker had already announced he would run for Lautenberg's seat in 2014.

Political scientist Bill Rosenberg says Christie could score big points for a gubernatorial re-election by reaching across party lines for Booker.

"But the problem with that," according to Rosenberg, "is that it would probably seal his fate of not really moving forward with the Republican Party anymore."

Rosenberg is referring to any presidential plans Christie may have for 2016.

As for the timing of a special election, Christie could save the state some money by calling for one this November, to coincide with his own gubernatorial race.

But that would also bring more Democrats to the polls, which might help Christie's relatively unknown Democratic challenger, Barbara Buono.

Lots of moving pieces here, both on the "who" and "when" of Lautenberg's replacement, FOX 29's Bruce Gordon reported.

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